Haggai Commentaries & Sermons

Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals



Charts from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Haggai Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Haggai Chart


Source - Hampton Keathley IV - Haggai - Recommended


Source - Hampton Keathley IV - Haggai - Recommended

Click Charts to Enlarge
"Put First Things First"
Hag 1:1-2 Hag 1:3-6 Hag 1:7-11 Hag 1:12-15 Hag 2:1-9 Hag 2:10-19 Hag 2:20-23

Consider Your Ways…
My house that is in ruins

Glory of the
Latter Temple
shall be greater
From this day forward I will bless you I will shake
and earth

Completion of
the Latter Temple

Glory of
the Latter Temple

Present Blessing of Obedience

Future Blessing thru Promise
First Sermon
Hag 1:1-11
People's Response
Hag 1:12-15
Second Sermon
Hag 2:1-9
Third Sermon
Hag 2:10-19
Fourth Sermon
Hag 2:20-23

Hag 1:4

Hag 1:13

Hag 2:4

Hag 2:19

Hag 2:20-23

People are rebuked
for discontinuing temple project

People are
Greater glory
is promised
Blessing is
is honored
Present condition of Jerusalem Temple
Future glory of God's House
Practical, negative, confronting
Spiritual, positive, comforting
"I called for
a drought on the land"
Hag 1:11
"I am
with you"
Hag 1:13
"I will fill this house
with glory"
Hag 2:7
"I will
bless you"
Hag 2:19
"I will make
you a signet"
Hag 2:23

Temple Begun 536BC
Temple Discontinued 534BC


520BC Charge to
Resume Building

Work Begun
Hag 1:14

Encouragement to Finish -
Finished 516BC - Ezra 6:15

Haggai Opens With
A Problem
Hag 1:2

Haggai Closes With
A Promise
Hag 2:23

Key Words:

  • Word of the Lord came (Hag 1:1, 3, 2:1, 2:10, 2:20),
  • Rebuilt/rebuild (Hag 1:2, 8),
  • Consider your ways (Hag 1:5, 7), LORD of hosts (of armies) (14x/12v - Hag 1:2, 5, 7, 9, 14, Hag 2:4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 23),
  • House (Hag 1:2, 4, 9, 14, Hag 2:7, 9);
  • Temple (Hag 1;8, 2:3, 2:15, 2:18),
  • Glory (Hag 2:3, 7, 9),
  • Day of the month - Hab 1:1, 1:15, 2:1, 2:20;
  • People (Hag 1:2, 12, 13, 14, 2:2, 4, 14);
  • Shake (Hag 2:6, 7, 21).
  • See related discussion - key words and marking key words
Key Verse: Hag 1:4-5, Hag 2:7-9

Christ in Haggai: Christ's presence in the Temple (Jn 1:1, 14, Lk 2:32b), which was further expanded and adorned by Herod, is " ‘The latter GLORY of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give PEACE,’ declares the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:9) Jesus is our PEACE (Eph 2:14-note) and His future rule in the Millennium will establish worldwide peace (Hag 2:9). "On that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring (02368), for I have chosen you,’” declares the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:23) Righteous Zerubbabel is a foreshadowing of Christ, as well as in the genealogy of the Messiah (Mt 1:12,13, Lk 3:27).

Interesting Facts about Haggai 

A M Hodgkin

Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are the three prophets to the restored remnant that returned from Babylon. They all make frequent use of the title ''The Lord of Hosts.''

Haggai and Zechariah were probably among the first exiles who returned with Zerubbabel. From his words in 2:3, it is thought that possibly Haggai himself had seen the glory of Solomon's Temple, in which case he would be an old man at this time [cp. Ezra 3:12], while Zechariah was quite young (Zech 2:4).

The burden of Haggai's message was, ''I am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts'' (Hag 1:13).

To the prophet Haggai is given the privilege-- along with Zechariah-- of stirring the people, by his few concise words, to the work of rebuilding the Temple. His message may be summed up in the words, ''Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you'' [Mt 6:33-note].

He uttered [five] short prophecies during the last four months of the second year of Darius. [Each of these prophecies begins with this phrase: ''came the word of the Lord''.]

In the first [and second] [Hag 1:1-2, 3-11], he endeavored to shame the people out of their apathy in beautifying their own houses, while the house of the Lord lay waste; and he tells them that all the drought on crops and cattle had its source in this neglect [cp. Deut 28:1ff]. This prophecy produced the desired effect, and Zerubbabel, the governor of Jerusalem, and Joshua the High Priest, and the residue of the people rose up and began the work of rebuilding the Temple, which had been interrupted by their surrounding enemies, chiefly the Samaritans [cp. Ezra. 3:1-Ezra 6:1ff].

A month later, discouragement seems to have beset the workers, at the contrast between the glory of the former house [ie., the Temple built by Solomon] and the poverty of this latter [house]. Haggai exhorted them to be strong and build, for the Lord was with them, His Spirit would remain among them, and, moreover, a time was coming when the Lord of Hosts would shake the heavens and the earth, and the Desire of all nations [would] come, and His glory [would] fill the Temple, so that the glory of this latter house should be greater than that of the former, and in this place would the Lord of Hosts give peace [Hag 2:1-9].

''Herod's Temple, to which our Lord came, was not a new Temple, but a renovation of this second Temple, with splendid additions and improvements. In Haggai's words, 'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts,' we probably have a prophecy of its magnificence when adorned, at the cost of many millions, by Herod, so as to make it a glorious house, just before He whose house it was came to it, as it were in preparation for His august presence. Yet, the true glory was the presence of the ''Great King'' in His deep disguise as a peasant of Galilee'' (Rev. James Neil).

A Signet (Note)

The fourth [and fifth] prophecies were addressed to Zerubbabel, and through him to Christ [Hag 2:10-19, 20-23]. Zerubbabel was a prince of the house of David, he had led back the people from captivity, he had built the Temple. In all this, he was a type of Christ, who is the Servant of the Lord, chosen of Him, set as a signet (or seal) upon the hand of the Father, the ''express image of His Person.'' This word in Hebrews 1:3-note means the impression made as by a seal upon wax.

Haggai's message is full of stirring words to us today. If, as a Church, we thought more of the Lord's work of saving souls than of our own comfort, there would be no lack of means to carry it forward.

''Consider your ways,'' said Haggai; if we so adjust our ways as to make them fall into line with God's will for us, we have the certainty of His promise, ''I am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts.'' And if His Spirit remaineth among us, we need fear neither opposition from without, nor discouragement from within. [cp. Mat 28:18-20]

Commentary on Haggai

  • Seek First The Kingdom of God - 53 pages
    Excerpt from Paul Apple's quote from Hanko (Apple has many quotes) - We know nothing about Haggai himself, except that he prophesied in years after the return from Babylon, as a contemporary of the prophet Zechariah, when Zerubbabel was governor of Judahand Darius king of the Persians. He is not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture and neither his prophecy nor the book of Ezra give us any information about him. There is not even any clear evidence that his name has any significance. In fact, as far as we know, he delivered only four prophecies, each of which is marked in the book of Haggai by a date. Those four prophecies were given over a period of just under four months (15 weeks). Whether Haggai’s career as a prophet lasted longer, and whether there were other prophecies besides these four we do not know. . .

    The first prophecy is a call to be busy with the work of building the temple accompanied by a warning against further neglect of the work. In that warning God points out the sins of his people and shows them how he was punishing them for those sins. Though they did not recognize the fact, many of the troubles they were suffering in Judah were God’s chastisement. Attached to that first prophecy is an historical notice of the people’s obedience to God’s Word through Haggai and a word of encouragement to them in their work of rebuilding the temple. Haggai does not tell that part of the story, but the Jews obtained a decree from the king allowing them to build and providing them with the necessities for building and for the worship of God in the temple, to the consternation of their enemies (Ezra 5:3-6:13).

    The second prophecy, found in Haggai 2:1-9, is the most important of them all. In it God addresses the discouragement of the people, who could see, now that the work was progressing, that the temple they were building was not much in comparison with Solomon’s temple. God not only encourages them with the promise that he would live in the temple as in old times, but also points them forward to the coming of Christ, to the building of the true temple, and to its glory, which would be far greater than the glory of Solomon’s temple. This second prophecy concerns the future history of the temple and carries us all the way to the end of the world, when all things would be shaken to pieces and destroyed and only the true temple remain.

    The third prophecy is a reminder to the people, through an example taken from the law of Moses, that because the work was God’s work, they must be holy and work with holy hands. That warning is reinforced in Haggai 2:13-19, with a reminder of God’s former judgments and a promise of future blessing.

    The fourth of these prophecies speaks again of the coming of Christ as the one in whom all the promises of God concerning the temple would be fulfilled. Christ is spoken of in the figure of Zerrubbabel, the governor of Judah, and under that figure God not only promises his people complete deliverance from their enemies, but also speaks of His great and eternal love for them as the motive for all his dealings with them.

Resources that Reference Haggai



See critique

Related to Obadiah

Sermons, Anecdotes, Illustrations

Be a Berean - Not Always Literal especially in prophetic passages


Excerpts from each sermon to give you a sense of how Pastor Cole preaches the text in hopes that you will be stimulated to read each of these four messages to supplement your personal study of the practical little book of Haggai.

  • Haggai 1:1-15 Putting First Things First (Seeking God) -

    Every day you exchange a day of your life for something. It’s as if at the start of life each of us were issued a certain number of coins. They’re hidden inside a large machine so that we don’t know how many we were issued or how many we have left. Each day, the machine issues us a new coin. It may be the last coin we get, or we may get many more. All we know is that the average person in America gets between 70 and 80 years’ worth, but some get far less; a few may get more.

    You take each day’s coin and exchange it for something: a day at work or school, shopping, church, leisure, or whatever. Once spent, you can never get the coins back to spend them differently. The art of living wisely is largely a matter of spending your coins on the things that really matter in light of eternity and not frivolously wasting them. Living wisely is difficult because often the choice is not between the bad and the good, but between the good and the best.

    The Book of Haggai, second shortest in the Old Testament, has a potent message. It tells us to put first things first in our lives. It was written to people, like us, who would have told you that God must be first. They believed that; we believe that. But, they had drifted into a way of life where their intellectual belief in the supremacy of God was not reflected in the way they were living. They gave lip service to the priority of God, but in fact they lived with other priorities. God sent this prophet to help His people get their priorities in line with what they knew they should be.....

    1. We all are prone to put our prosperity above God’s house.
    A. Those who put their prosperity above God’s house are often committed believers.
    B. Those who put their prosperity above God’s house have “reasons” (excuses) for their lifestyles.
    C. Those who put their prosperity above God’s house are blind to God’s chastening hand.
    D. Those who put their prosperity above God’s house never get what they’re after.

    2. We must deliberately and continually put God’s house above our prosperity.
    A. To put God’s house above material prosperity requires deliberate and continual effort.
    B. To put God’s house above material prosperity requires constant self-evaluation in the fear of God.
    (1) How are you spending your time? These people had plenty of time for themselves, but they didn’t have time for God. Rearrange your schedule!
    (2) How are you spending your money, which is really God’s money? These folks claimed that they had to get their own houses built first, and then they could build God’s house. That was backwards. God says that we are to give Him the first fruits, off the top. We are to give Him the best. We are managers of all that He has given us, to invest it profitably for His kingdom.
    3) What are your goals? What is it that you’re aiming at in life? If you live to an old age, what do you want to look back on as far as accomplishments?
    (4) What do you think about the most? What secretly occupies your thought life? Do you dream of getting rich, of achieving fame, of some hobby or leisure pursuit, or do you think about the Lord and how He wants you to spend your life?
    (5) Who are your heroes or models? Whom do you most admire? Whom would you like to be like? Why? (6) Who are your friends? Whom do you like to spend time with? Why do you like to be with them?
    (7) How do you spend your leisure time? When you have time off, how do you spend it? Do you watch TV? Do you live for sports? Do you hang out with friends? How does your leisure time reflect and affect your devotion to Jesus Christ?....

    I’ve shared before the story of the time management expert who was speaking to a group of business students. He pulled out a large, wide-mouth jar and filled it with fist-sized rocks. When he couldn’t put any more in, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

    The class responded, “Yes.” He said, “Really?” Then he pulled out a bucket of gravel and poured it in, shaking it down through the cracks. Then he asked, “Is the jar full?”

    The students were onto him, so they said, “No.” “Good,” he replied. He dumped in a bucket of sand. Once more he asked, “Is the jar full?” “No,” they shouted. Again he said, “Good.” He poured in a pitcher of water until the jar was full to the brim.

    Then he asked, “What is the point of the illustration?” One student ventured, “No matter how full your schedule, if you try hard, you can always fit more in.”

    “No,” the speaker replied, “that is not the point. The point is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.” (First Things First, by Stephen Covey, Roger & Rebecca Merrill [Simon & Schuster], pp. 88-89.)

    Editorial comment - What should our “big rocks” be? Jesus and His Word! Put them first in your life! If we put the pebbles, or sand, etc, in first, we won't find time for Jesus the King of kings and His Word which endures forever!

  • Haggai 2:1-9 God's Encouragement for Discouraged Servants
    Excerpt from introduction - 

    The famous inventor, Thomas Edison, tried again and again to find the right filament for the incandescent electric light bulb. One day he had completed his 10,000th experiment only to discover another way that would not work. When he arrived home that night, he shared this bit of news with his wife. “Aren’t you pretty discouraged, Tom?” she asked. “Discouraged?” responded Edison. “Certainly not! I now know 10,000 ways that won’t work!”

    Perseverance seems to be an outdated concept in our day of instant everything. If it doesn’t come easy, why pursue it? If it’s hard or requires endurance, maybe it isn’t your thing.

    It’s easy to start a new diet. It’s tough to stick to it when you crave that cinnamon roll. It’s easy to start a new exercise program. It’s tough to persevere when your aching muscles scream, “No more!” It’s easy to get married. It’s tough to hang in there and work through problems over a lifetime. It’s easy to begin a new ministry in the local church. It’s tough to keep on when problems arise or when the results don’t match your initial expectations.

    That describes the people in Haggai’s day, just shy of a month after they had obeyed his first message and resumed work on rebuilding the temple. The foundation had been laid about 15 years before, but the project had been set on the shelf. But now, in response to Haggai’s word from the Lord, the leaders and people had begun to rebuild on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius (Sept. 21, 520 B.C.; 1:15). The seventh month in Israel began with the Feast of Trumpets on the first day, followed by the Day of Atonement on the tenth day. Then the Feast of Tabernacles went from the 15th to the 21st. On the last day of that feast (Oct. 17th), Haggai delivered his second message to the people (2:1-9). It is a message of God’s encouragement to discouraged workers. We learn that …

    God encourages His discouraged servants to persevere in His work.

    These verses teach us three things about persevering by turning our discouragement in serving the Lord into encouragement:
    1. God understands and cares about the discouragement we face in serving Him (Hag 2:1-3).....
    2. God’s word to us when we discouraged in serving Him is to persevere (Hag 2:4a).....
    3. God assures us when we are discouraged in serving Him by His presence, His promise, and His prophecy (Hag 2:4b-9).....

    One of the most remarkable examples of a Christian persevering in the Lord’s work is that of William Wilberforce of England (1759-1833). He was converted in 1785. Two years later he gave notice in the House of Commons, where he served, that he would bring a motion for the abolition of the slave trade. This was a hugely lucrative business that brought much income into the British economy. The British plantations in the West Indies depended on slave labor for their profit. Owning slaves was a strong cultural institution. So it was an enormous task to undertake. Numerous times Wilberforce’s life was threatened. There was political pressure to back down because of the international political ramifications. For example, if Britain outlawed slavery, the West Indian colonies threatened to declare independence from Britain and associate with the United States, which still allowed slavery. But in spite of all of these obstacles, Wilberforce persevered. Finally, on March 25, 1807, after 20 years of setbacks, Wilberforce prevailed when the House voted to outlaw the slave trade. But the battle wasn’t over. Wilberforce battled on for the next 26 years, until his death, to abolish not only the slave trade, but also slavery itself. The decisive vote on that issue came on July 26, 1833, just three days before Wilberforce died. After 46 years of battle, slavery itself was outlawed in the British Empire. But Wilberforce wasn’t just a one-issue man. He was also involved heavily in a number of missionary endeavors and in many social causes. He worked to alleviate harsh child labor conditions, for agricultural reform, prison reform, and the prevention of cruelty to animals. And he continually sought to win his colleagues to personal faith in Jesus Christ. (The above facts are taken from John Piper, The Roots of Endurance [Crossway Books], pp. 129-134). Not many of us can rack up such a record! But we can persevere in whatever the Lord has given us to do for His kingdom. Just as the result of the people’s building the temple in Haggai’s day would bring more glory to God, so our obedience in building His spiritual temple, the church, will glorify Him. If you are discouraged in your service for the Lord, He wants to encourage you to persevere for His glory.

  • Haggai 2:10-19 Seek First His Righteousness (Holiness)
    Excerpt from introduction - When asked what he needed for his birthday, a six-year-old said firmly, “I don’t want to need, I want to want.” Perceptive kid! What do you want in life? That question requires careful thought! The story of King Midas, who was granted his ultimate wish that everything he touched would turn to gold, shows us how easy it is to want the wrong things. Midas quickly discovered that you can’t eat gold and you can’t relate to gold people! He made the wrong choice! What I want more than anything—I covet it—is Gods blessing. When you’ve got God’s blessing, you’ve got it all. You may be rich or poor, healthy or ill, living in a mansion or hiding out in a cave. But if you know that God is blessing your life, you’ve got something that the world can’t give or take away. You are truly satisfied! On the other hand, if you lack God’s blessing, you may get what you think will satisfy, but you will have leanness in your soul (Ps. 106:15, KJV). The prophet Haggai’s third message (Hag 2:10-19) to the remnant that had returned from the Babylonian captivity tells us how we can experience God’s true blessing...... The third message is:God will grant true blessing when we put His house first from righteous lives.....

    Conclusion - hree times God repeats the same phrase that He repeated three times in the first section (Hab 1:5, 7): “Consider” (Hab 2:15, 18). It is literally, “set your heart,” or “fix your attention on this.” What God wants us to consider is, if we seek first His kingdom from righteous hearts, He willbless us. So we need to take frequent inventory of our lives, beginning on the heart level.

  1. Do I spend frequent time alone before God, in the Word and in prayer (Matt. 4:1-11)?
  2. Do I immediately confess any known sin and turn from it in genuine repentance, without blaming or excuses (1 John 1:9)?
  3. Do I build into my life protection and accountability in order not to make any provision for the sins that so easily entangle me (Rom. 13:14; Heb. 12:1-2; James 5:16)?
  4. Do I memorize and meditate on Scriptures that will keep me from temptation and sin (Ps. 119:9, 11)?
  5. Am I completely truthful in my closest relationships, or do I put on a mask of hypocrisy through deception (Eph. 4:25)?
  6. Is my love for Jesus Christ fervent and vital because I think often on what He did for me on the cross (Gal. 2:20; Rev. 2:4)?
  7. Do I truly want God’s blessing on my life, on my family, and on the ministry that He has entrusted to me?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Ps. 139:23, 24).

  • Haggai 2:20-2 God Will Prevail (God's Sovereignty)
    Excerpt from introduction - A correction notice in a local Oregon newspaper read, “The title of a First Christian Church program in last week’s paper was written as ‘Our God Resigns.’ The actual title is ‘Our God Reigns’” (Reader’s Digest, [9/93], p. 53). What a difference one letter makes! But maybe that typo is more true in our experience than we care to admit! Many Christians live as if their God resigned, not as if He truly reigns as the Sovereign of the universe. As I mentioned recently, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression and over 80 percent of pastors and their wives feel discouraged in their work. If we aren’t careful, we can easily develop that perspective, because as you look around, it seems as if the enemy is winning. In spite of all of the Christian influence and Christian resources available in this country, evil has escalated to unimaginable proportions in the past 35 years. Most Americans used to agree with Christian moral standards, even if they didn’t keep them. But now even many professing Christians do not live by those standards, let alone those in the world. People flaunt their sin as if it’s a badge of honor. Several Christian denominations tolerate homosexual sin not only among their members, but even among the clergy! Very few churches take a stand for absolute truth, whether in morals or in doctrine. The gospel has been changed from how a person can be saved from God’s judgment to how we can use God for personal fulfillment! When you consider the cause of world missions, it also can be discouraging. The worldwide threat of militant Islam is daunting. Often new converts in Islamic countries are killed, which is no small problem in founding new churches! There are still thousands of people groups with no gospel witness. Quite often, even in this country, let alone in developing nations, professing Christians mingle cultural folk religion with their Christian faith. If we focus too much on these problems, it’s easy to wonder if our God resigned! Zerubbabel found himself in that sort of discouraging situation..... To Zerubbabel and to all of God’s servants who may be discouraged, God has this word: Because the Sovereign Lord will prevail in His eternal plan, His servants should be encouraged to trust Him and to do His will.

Expository Notes on Haggai

Haggai Commentary

Commentary on Haggai
Caveat: Not always literal


Interesting simple translation and comments

Israelology - Commentary on Israel

Commentary on Haggai
The Annotated Bible
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

The First Address

The Second Address

The Third Address

The Fourth Address

The Fifth Address

Commentary on Haggai

Sermons and Sermon Notes

Commentary on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Haggai

Commentary on Haggai

Commentary on Haggai

Best "devotional flavor" commentary on the Minor Prophets

Commentary on Haggai

Sermons on Haggai

Commentary on Haggai

James Rosscup writes "This 1858 work supplies much help on matters of the text, word meaning, resolving some problems, etc. Some have found it one of the most contributive sources in getting at what a text means." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Commentary on Haggai

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note) (Click example of his interpretative approach which is often allegorical) (Or another example)

Commentary on Haggai
Be a Berean - Not Always Literal

Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible

Note: JFB is one of the more literal, conservative older commentaries (prior to 1900). Sample excerpt of eschatological (prophetic, apocalyptic) passage Zechariah 14:2 - "gather all nations, etc. — The prophecy seems literal (compare Joel 3:2). If Antichrist be the leader of the nations, it seems inconsistent with the statement that he will at this time be sitting in the temple as God at Jerusalem (2Thessalonians 2:4); thus Antichrist outside would be made to besiege Antichrist within the city. But difficulties do not set aside revelations: the event will clear up seeming difficulties (Ed: Interesting statement!). Compare the complicated movements, Daniel 11:1-45-note." Comment on Zech 14:11 - "no more utter destruction — (Jer 31:40). Literally, “no more curse” (Rev 22:3-note; compare Malachi 4:6-note), for there will be no more sin. Temporal blessings and spiritual prosperity shall go together in the millennium: long life (Isaiah 65:20-22), peace (Isaiah 2:4-note), honor (Isaiah 60:14-16), righteous government (Isaiah 54:14; Isaiah 60:18). (Zechariah 14 - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

Sermon/Commentary Notes on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on the Old Testament

See caveat regarding this commentary

Rosscup - This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter… In prophecy it is amillennial. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works).

Alexander Maclaren
Sermons on Haggai

Thru the Bible
Commentary on Haggai
Literal, futuristic interpretation

Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals
on Haggai





Rosscup on Kaiser: A careful evangelical gives contemporary outlines usable to pastors. He has occasional illustrations and serious explanation of the text. He is premillennial, as on Zechariah 14, and packs in much expositional help, relating it strategically to life. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

James Montgomery Boice - conservative, literal, futuristic - excellent for preaching Rosscup comments: The large, two-column pages contain much good material on the relevance of the words for then and for now, dealing with such topics as love, repentance, and sincerity (Hosea 6). A prolonged contemplation of these pages and an application of their principles will produce substantial Christian growth. The author could improve the work by being more definite sometimes in specifying in what framework God will bless Israel in the future (e.g., Hosea 14). Vagueness such as in Joel 2:1-11, where he says the invader is neither locusts nor a human army, is a drawback. Wordiness and wandering in his discussions is another shortcoming, as in using Joel 2:28 to take off into a long discussion of clericalism. He finds fulfillment of Joel 2:28 at Pentecost, yet it would help to point out some aspects that were (Rosscup)

Exploring the Minor Prophets John Phillips - Rosscup on John Phillips - A respected popular expositor on a number of biblical books here has two introductory chapters, then a chapter of about 20–30 pp. on each prophet (50 on Zech.). Several charts aid readers, and a detailed outline runs before each exposition. The exposition is in general surveys of sections, at times taking a view on a main problem. In Hosea 1:2, he feels that God had Hosea marry an immoral woman but Phillips offers no help on the moral issue. Phillips is premillennial, seeing Israel’s future kingdom blessings as in the millennium after Christ’s Second Coming (Hosea 3:5; Joel 3:14ff; Amos 9:15; Zeph. 3:9ff; Zech 2:10–13; 14:1–21). In Mal. 2:15 he has “one” refer to God making husband and wife into one, and in 4:5 he thinks the Elijah will be fulfilled in one of the two witnesses in Rev. 11. The work helps on broad coverage, and is quite readable for preachers, church teachers, students and lay people wanting a general devotional sweep. (Ibid)

The Books of Haggai and Malachi - New International Commentary on the Old Testament - Pieter A. Verhoef - Rosscup writes that "This is by the Professor of Old Testament, Emeritus, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. It is conservative and offers much on current literature, introductory matters, and verse by verse content, adeptly explaining the text and flow of thought. He takes issue with W. Rudolph who says in his commentary on Haggai that the book has no relevance at all for the Christian faith (Verhoef, p. vii), and strives to show the significance of both Haggai and Malachi to today. He has interacted with much scholarship within the text and in footnotes. He believes that someone close to Haggai in his day wrote the book with authentic material from Haggai. He upholds the unity of the book, and traces the movement through the verses carefully in relation to its background. He may or may not be premillennial, seeing the fulfillment of prophetical aspects about the temple beyond the Second Advent. He deals at length with many of the problems, giving different views and factors to weigh, as on God’s love and hate (Malachi 1:2–3), “one” in 2:15, the messenger concepts of 3:1, and “Elijah” in 4:4–6." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)






GENE GETZ - short videos on principles in Haggai

  • Haggai 1:1-4  Leadership Responsibility: Spiritual leaders in the church are to both model and teach the will of God. Video
  • Haggai 1:5-11 Eternal Rewards: To store up treasures in heaven, we must make it a priority to build God's eternal kingdom with our material possessions. Video
  • Haggai 1:12-2:5; The Human and Divine: To carry out our biblical tasks, we are to draw on God's supernatural strength but at the same time use our God-given abilities. Video
  • Haggai  2:6-23 Building God's Church: When spiritual leaders become discouraged, they should envision the day when God's spiritual temple is completed and transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. Video



  • Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study Notes - Sample Excerpt:
    Haggai 2:1 The twenty-first day of the seventh month was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles/Shelters in which the people celebrated the blessings of a good harvest and commemorated the time when their ancestors lived in tents during their wilderness wanderings (Lv 23:33-43; Num 29:12-40; Dt 16:13-17). There was a large crowd gathered for this feast, so it was a good time to address many people.

    Haggai 2:3 Saw this house in its former glory...Doesn't it seem like nothing to you? The prophet heard what people were saying about the temple rebuilding program during the feast. Many had a negative attitude, saying this temple would be greatly inferior to Solomon's gold-covered temple (1Ki 6:2-35).

    Haggai Haggai 2:4 Be strong (mentioned three times) is an encouragement for the leaders Zerubbabel and Joshua, as well as the rest of the people, to be bold and firmly committed. They should not question the worthiness of building a temple to glorify God.

    2:5 My Spirit is present among you promises that the power that enabled the people to escape Egypt (cp. Ex 33:14-17) was still actively present to help in this crisis situation.

    Haggai 2:6 I am going to shake all parts of the earth describes God's sovereignty over what will happen.




  • Haggai -Intro, Date, Setting, Themes, Interpretative Challenges, Outline
  • In a Separate Article the Question is answered: When were the Bible books written?
  • Excerpt: Interpretive Challenges - The most prominent interpretive ambiguity within the prophecy is the phrase “the Desire of All Nations” (Hag 2:7). Although many translations exist, there are essentially only two interpretations. Pointing to “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine” (Hag 2:8), as well as to Is. 60:5 and Zech 14:14, some contend that it refers to Jerusalem, to which the wealth of other nations will be brought during the Millennium (cf. Is. 60:11; 61:6). It seems preferable, however, to see a reference here to the Messiah, a Deliverer for whom all the nations ultimately long. Not only is this interpretation supported by the ancient rabbis and the early church, the mention of “glory” in the latter part of the verse suggests a personal reference to the Messiah (cf. Is. 40:5; 60:1; Luke 2:32).






  • Outline Studies - Haggai
  • Excerpt: Hag 2:1-9: The design of the second address is to correct a tendency to discouragement and depreciation which had begun to appear. It is to the same officers and through them to the people. They were peculiarly disposed to discouragement. When the foundations were laid old persons who had seen the first temple wept at the contrast. After the first burst of enthusiasm in the work of rebuilding, there came, as almost always comes in human enterprises, the reaction, the time of flagging interest and waning energy. Haggai set himself to reanimate their drooping spirits and rekindle their fainting ardor. In the latter part of this address, Hag 2:6, 7, the prophet grounds his appeal on the great fact that God will ere long shake heaven, earth, sea, and all nations—a passage quoted in Heb 12:26, 27; and adds, “and the desire of all nations shall come,” or “the things desired of all nations shall come.” It is a difficult phrase, but in view of what is said of it Heb 12:25-29, it must in some way be connected with the kingdom of God and the Messiah. Hab 2:10-19. Instruction, reproof, appeal and promise. Hab 2:20-23. This last address was delivered on the same day as the preceding. It was spoken to Zerubbabel alone and was designed to stimulate that officer to zealous efforts in the good work undertaken. The prophet again refers to the supernatural shaking of earth and sky and kingdoms, but amid it all the prince shall be as a signet, firm and immovable, because chosen of the Lord. This can be no other than the day of the Lord, the day of the Prince Messiah.


  • Keys to Haggai
  • Excerpt: THEME: Haggai returned with the first expedition led by Zerubbabel, along with Ezra the scribe (Ezra 3:8; Haggai 1:1). Work began on the restoration of the temple, only to run into opposition from former inhabitants of the land. GOD inspired the prophet, who urged the work forward. SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS: Four messages of Haggai were spoken within a period of only four months. It is possible that Haggai may have personally seen the glory of the temple of Solomon (Hag 2:3). This would have made him a very old man at the time of his prophetic ministry. The messages are exceedingly condensed and perhaps were a summary of that which was given orally. Each time Haggai's name is mentioned, he is called "the prophet" thus emphasizing his important ministry. OUTSTANDING TEACHINGS: Opposition to the work caused the people to leave it and turn to more profitable pursuits. They rationalized that the time had not come for rebuilding. Adorning their homes, propagating their flocks and working their fields occupied their interests. Haggai's impassioned plea roused them again to action. Haggai's first message was in substance that of Matthew 6:33-note. In the second he stressed that the glory of the new temple would be greater than the first. He told them that certain plagues had come on them due to their neglect of the important task, and the last message was specially to Zerubbabel promising him that GOD would destroy the enemy and that His people would endure and prosper. KEY TO UNDERSTANDING: GOD will not be frustrated nor change in His purposes; He uses men to fulfill His plans.


  • Through the Bible - Haggai
  • Excerpt: I. First message: the neglect of the second temple's completion (Hag 1:1-15) 1. The excuse for the neglect (Hag 1:1, 2). "The time is not come that the Lord's house should be built." The people were probably waiting for some special revelation from GOD before they would perform what they knew to be their duty. 2. The cause of the neglect - the people's selfishness (Hag 1:3, 4). They did not wait for any special command to build and embellish their own homes. 3. The punishment for the neglect - drought and barrenness (Hag 1:5-11). 4. The repentance for the neglect (Hag 1:12-15). The people set to work on the temple. II. The second message: the glory of the second temple (Hag 2:1-9) 1. The people's discouragement (Hag 2:1-3). Remembering the magnificence of Solomon's temple, the people were evidently discouraged by the thought that the present temple would not equal it in beauty and glory. They knew that it would lack the Shekinah glory that filled the first temple. 2. The Divine encouragement (Hag 2:4-9). The glory of the second temple will be greater than that of the first, declares the Lord, for Messiah Himself, the Lord of glory, will enter it. This was fulfilled at Christ's first coming when He entered the temple (Jn 2:13-25; compare Malachi 3:1). There may be a more complete fulfillment at His second coming. Third message: sacrifice. without obedience (to rebuild the temple) will not sanctify (Hag 2:10-19) 1. A parable (Hag 2:10-14). The lesson contained in these scriptures is as follows: holiness is not contagious, but evil is. The sacrifices offered on the altar were not sufficient to sanctify a land which the disobedience of the people had polluted. Therefore the land was barren. "The faint aroma of sanctity coming from the altar was too feeble to pervade the secular atmosphere of their lives. Haggai argues that Israel's sacrifices for sixteen years had been unclean in God's sight, and had brought them no blessing, because the temple was in ruins." 2. A warning (Hag 2:15-18). The blight upon the land was caused by disobedience. 3. A promise (Hag 2:19). Now that the people have set themselves to the work in earnest, the Lord will bless them. IV. Fourth message: the safety and perpetuity of the house of Israel (Hag 2:20-23) 1. The coming world commotions (Hag 2:20-22). Comparing Haggai 2:6,7 and Hebrews 12:26-28, we see here a reference to the final world upheaval preceding Christ's second coming. 2. The assurance of safety (Hag 2:23). The national disturbances in Zerubbabel's time had perhaps made him fear for the safety of his nation. As a representative of the house of David and an ancestor of the Messiah, he receives a promise of protection and safety for himself and his people. All the nations of the world shall be shaken, but the Jewish nation under Messiah, of whom Zerubbabel is a type, shall be established.



  • The Prophet Haggai
  • Excerpt: The prophet Haggai recorded his four messages to the Jewish people of Jerusalem in 520 BC, eighteen years after their return from exile in Babylon (538 BC). Haggai 2:3 seems to indicate that the prophet had seen Jerusalem before the destruction of the temple and the exile in 586 BC, meaning he was more than seventy years old by the time he delivered his prophecies. From these facts, the picture of Haggai begins to come into focus. He was an older man looking back on the glories of his nation, a prophet imbued with a passionate desire to see his people rise up from the ashes of exile and reclaim their rightful place as God’s light to the nations. Haggai’s prophecy came at a time when the people of Judah were extremely vulnerable. They had been humbled by their exile to Babylon, hopeful in their return to their Promised Land, and then so discouraged by opposition in their rebuilding of the temple that they had quit (Ezra 4:24). Now, sixteen years later, with Haggai blaming their lack of food, clothing, and shelter on their failure to rebuild the temple, the Jews were receptive to his message of rebuilding the Lord’s house. (See also Haggai Overview Chart)














  • Sermon- Putting First Things First - Haggai
  • Excerpt: E. M. Gray spent his life searching for the one trait all successful people share. His essay entitled "The Common Denominator of Success" revealed successful people's common characteristic was not hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, although these traits were important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest was the habit of putting first things first. He observed, "The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either, necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose."







HAMPTON KEATHLEY IV - recommended. Extracts principles and gives applications.

  • Haggai: Commentary - Summary of Principles from Haggai - see link for exposition of each one

    1. The work of the Lord should never be procrastinated (Haggai 1:3)

    2. Misplaced priorities hinder the work of God (Haggai 1:4,9)

    3. The goal of God’s work is His glory and pleasure. (Haggai 1:8)

    4. God sometimes uses natural disasters for spiritual discipline (Haggai 1:6,10,11)

    5. Obedience and reverence are prerequisites for spiritual blessing (Haggai 1:12-14)

    6. It is never too late to start obeying God (Haggai 1:12-15)

    7. Courage comes from knowing that God is present (Haggai 2:1-4)

    8. The remedy for a discouraged heart is to see the divine perspective (Haggai 2:6-7)

    9. Everything belongs to and is under the control of the Lord (Haggai 2:7-8)

    10. Holiness is not transferable (Haggai 2:11-12)

    11. Sin contaminates everything one does (Haggai 2:13-14)

    12. Disobedience brings discipline, while obedience guarantees blessing (Haggai 2:15-19)

    13. God is sovereign over the nations and kingdoms of this world. (Haggai 2:20-22)

    14. The covenants of the Lord are guaranteed to be fulfilled (Haggai 2:23)














Haggai - Be discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. Why listed? Because he has interesting grammatical (word and phrase studies) and historical comments.





  • Haggai 1:2-14 The Time to Build Has Come - Excerpt
    Conclusion: Where have your priorities been lately? Have you put your own interests ahead of everything else? Have you been putting off a commitment to serve God, or to support His work? Have you put off giving your heart to Christ? Have you put off church membership? Have you suffered losses and a lack of satisfaction as a result? Forget the excuses. Consider your ways! It’s time to obey the Lord. It’s time to trust in the Lord. It’s time to put God first in your life. Again, Jesus said in Mt. 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Put God first. Trust in Him, and He will meet your needs, and satisfy your soul.


  • Haggai 1-1-15 Obedience - Excerpt
    It is said that history repeats itself. That I am not sure about, but I do know that people, and the way that they respond to certain situations, are much the same. Psalm 92:12-15. In this psalm we find David singing about the blessings of the righteous who are "planted in the house of the Lord." I like David's phraseology. Planted indicates permanence, they have put down roots. They withstand the winds of adversity and the storms of life quite well. But most important ... they flourish and bring forth fruit. When an apple tree is uprooted, it will stop bearing fruit. The same is true of God's people; if they are not well-grounded and planted in the house of the Lord there will be no fruitful life. That is sad. Unfortunately some, like an uprooted tree, are unable to stand the test of trials and often they are uprooted in the midst of a storm. As I said before, people, in all ages, are much alike in the way they respond to situations. In the first chapter of Haggai we find some problems that are very similar to us today.














Exegetical Commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Conservative, Literal, Futuristic Interpretation

Rosscup: Here is an evangelical commentary well-done in 493 pp. Introductions gather much that is most pertinent for expositors. In Hag 2:7, “precious things” are Gentiles’ tributes (Isa. 60:5; 61:6) in the future kingdom. Merrill sees Zech 14 as related to Christ’s Second Advent and the coming of the Messianic Kingdom, in premillennial fashion. Fairly full exegetical detail meets readers verse by verse, yet Merrill’s comments are readable for others than scholars, except the technical notes in special sections will be more for the latter. Problem passages usually draw careful remarks, as in seeing Zech 12:10 as referring to the Lord, and in a future day. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)


Conservative notes from Dr Morris who approaches the text seeking it's literal meaning in the context. Millennial. Click the words or phrases after the Scripture for the Study Notes and note that they are from the KJV translation.

Haggai 1 Commentary

Haggai 2 Commentary

Commentary Notes
on Haggai

NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes." As you scroll the Bible text in the left panel, the notes are synchronized and will scroll to the same passage. Also has a nice parallel Bible feature (see Tab = "Parallel"). Select a different Bible translation (see Tab = "Bible"). Open Greek/Hebrew tab. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel.

Sermons on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Devotionals on Haggai
Radio Bible Class

Commentary on Haggai

Commentary on Haggai

on Haggai
Caveat - Not always literal and
sometimes replaces Israel with the church

Commentary on Haggai
The Minor Prophets
(originally published 1860)

James Rosscup writes "This work originally appeared in 1860. The present publication is set up in two columns to the page with the text of the Authorized Version reproduced at the top. Scripture references, Hebrew words, and other citations are relegated to the bottom of the page. The work is detailed and analytical in nature. Introduction, background and explanation of the Hebrew are quite helpful. Pusey holds to the grammatical-historical type of interpretation until he gets into sections dealing with the future of Israel, and here Israel becomes the church in the amillennial vein." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Brief Commentary Notes
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Sermon on Haggai
Horae Homileticae
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

Commentary on Haggai
The Expositor's Bible

James Rosscup writes "Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical (Ed: See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation)." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works or Logos Format)

Commentary on Haggai
Indexed by Chapter and Verse

Devotionals on Haggai
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

All of Spurgeon's Sermons on Haggai

Sermons on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Haggai

Devotionals on Haggai
Moody Bible Institute

Sermons on Haggai
Conservative, Literal Interpretation



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).